Monday, May 26, 2014

Charlotte and Indy 500 weekend

Hey folks! Here's my take on the Charlotte and Indy 500 weekend. I don't cover non-NASCAR usually, but the Indy 500's a biggie and beside Kurt Busch was in it.

Saturday was the Nationwide race. Kyle Larson with 82 laps led won followed by Brad Keselowski with 22 laps led, Kyle Busch with 27 laps led, Kevin Harvick and Brian Scott. Rounding out the top-10 were Matt Kenseth with 67 laps led, Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne, rookies Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon. James Buescher, cousin of Chris Buescher finished 11th after leading 1 lap. Jeremy Clements led 1 lap before he finished 23rd.   Trevor Bayne's scheduled to move up to the Cup and AdvoCare, his sponsor will follow him to the Cup 6, which hasn't been used since '12 and then just part-time after its full-time sponsor in '11 didn't return. He's 4th in Nationwide points now.

Sunday was the Indy 500 in the afternoon and the Coca-Cola 600 at night.  Kurt Busch was in both races. In the afternoon, Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the American win drought at Indy, followed by Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya's a returnee to the series, as he raced Indy and F1 before his NASCAR stint. Rounding out the top were Kurt Busch, Sebastain Bourdais, Will Power, Sage Karam and J. R. Hildebrand.  Only Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon previously attempted the double.  Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch's Indy finishes when they doubled were equal, but Stewart had race it before, while Kurt Busch was an Indy rookie.  That night, at Charlotte, Jimmie Johnson won for the first time this season with 164 laps led, followed by Kevin Harvick with 100 laps led,  Matt Kenseth with 33 laps led, Carl Edwards with 4 laps led and Jamie McMurray with 34 laps led.  Rounding out the top-ten were Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon with 8 laps led, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski with 43 laps led.  Aric Almirola led 1 lap before he finished 11th. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. led 13 laps but was relegated to 19th with a little engine issue and vibration, which got better but didn't go away.  Gordon sat out the final practice due to back spasms. Trevor Bayne's move up next year means his current Cup team, the Wood Brothers is starting to look for a new driver. They may use a driver like one of Trevor's Nationwide teammates, Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed or perhaps an old guy looking to cut back to part-time.

I was camping over the weekend, but the friends we were with have a camper and the man's a race fan, so my dad and me were able to watch the Coca-Cola 600 as their TV in the camper could get Fox.  The other race was on ABC, so we would've been able to watch them at home We got home this afternoon and I looked up the ABC race info online.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Charlotte and Iowa Weekend and My Immediate Life Plans Now

Hey folks! Here's my take on Charlotte and Iowa NASCAR weekend!  The schedule was a little bit changed up from usual as you'll see.

Friday night was the Truck race at Charlotte. Polesitter Kyle Busch won with 130 laps led, followed by, Matt Crafton, Brad Keselowski, John Wes Townley and Timothy Peters. Rounding out the top-10 were Johnny Sauter, Austin Dillon, rookie Ben Kennedy, German Quiroga and Justin Lofton. Joe Nemechek, who finished 11th led 4 laps. The race had 134 laps, so that shows how dominant Kyle Busch was. Some people think Cup drivers like him should stick to the Cup and not run in the minor league races because they dominate the Truck and Nationwide win lists.

Saturday night was the Cup All-Star Race, which was at Charlotte as well. The race had 5 segements, the 1st 4 of which were 20 laps each and the 5th was 10 laps for a total of 90 laps. My dad says it's a weird race. They also had the Showdown. which is a preliminary to the All-Star Race Friday afternoon. Drivers that haven't gained a spot in the All-Star Race by some other means, like winning a race since the last All-Star Race, being a previous winner of the race or NASCAR champion in the past 10 years can race their way in. The highest ranked driver in the fan vote that didn't finish first or second in the Showdown also makes it. Josh Wise was the fan vote this year. One year, 2012, I think it was, the driver with the most votes won the Showdown, so the next highest one in the vote was in. Clint Bowyer won with 19 laps led followed by A. J. Allmendinger with 18 laps led, Casey Mears, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola. Rounding out the top-10 were rookie Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., rookie and polesitter Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Danica Patrick. Clint Bowyer and A.J. Allmendinger were the  one to race in due to their Showdown finishes. They used to have a pit crew challenge, but it had no sponsor last year, so they no longer do that. Another discontinued All-Star event's the burnout competition, but don't have the details on that one. Jamie McMurray won the 5th segment and All-Star Race with 31 laps led, followed by Kevin Harvick the 4th segment winner with 4 laps led, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and pole-sitter Carl Edwards with 18 laps led.  Rounding out the top-10 were Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin with 5 laps led and Brad Keselowski.  Kasey Kahne was 14th after leading 20 laps and winning Segments 2 and 3. Kyle Busch was 21st due to a crash in Segment 2 after he led 11 laps and was the Segment 1 winner.  Joey Logano was 22nd as he was caught up in that crash.

Sunday was the Nationwide race, which was at Iowa. Sam Hornish, Jr. won with 167 laps led followed by pole-sitter Ryan Blaney with 80 laps led,  Regan Smith, rookie Chase Elliot and Elliot Sadler.  Rounding out the top-10 were Brian Scott, Michael McDowell with 3 laps led, rookie Ty Dillon, Trevor Bayne and Landon Cassill. Trevor Bayne has only finished outside the top-10 twice and once was 11th.  He had tire issues the other time.  His range has been 2nd-5th and he's currently 5th. His wife had a birthday the day before the race. I imagine she's with him in his travels now that they're married. He's within a race of the leader, so if he can manage a win or a few and remains asymptomatic on the MS front, he could be a championship contender.  I know this is an optimistic view, but I feel he wants us (his fans) to think like that.  He thinks positive, so I feel as a fan I should, too because I can.

Now, for a slice of my life. I'm possibly on the way to a job with ULTRA, a computer place in New York City that allows remote work.  They hire high functioning autistic people to do things like test software. We're going camping with some friends Memorial Day weekend, at least that's the plan now.  I'm helping with our church's girl's club's camping trip next month.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Kansas Weekend

Hey readers! Here's my take on Kansas race weekend. The Nationwide was off this time but returns to action at Iowa.

Friday was the Truck race. Kyle Busch won with 104 laps led, followed by Matt Crafton, Joey Logano with 41 laps led, Austin Dillon with 18 laps led and Tayler Malsam.  Rounding out the top-10 were Jeb Burton, German Qurioga with 1 lap led, Ron Hornaday, Jr. Joe Nemechek and rookie Mason Mingus. Ryan Blaney led 2 laps but finished 22nd after an accident. Rookie Jimmy Weller led 1 lap before he was 25 due to an accident.

Saturday was the Cup race and they had a 35 minute weather delay.  The later start meant they were in the dark sooner than they thought.  Jeff Gordon won with 9 laps led, followed by Kevin Harvick with 119 laps led, Kasey Kahne with 22 laps led, Joey Logano with 63 laps led and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with 9 laps led.  Rounding out the top-10 were Carl Edwards with 6 laps led, Danica Patrick, who got a career best finish,  Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson with 24 laps led and Matt Kenseth with 1 lap led.  Brad Keselowski led 13 laps and finished 13th.  Kyle Busch led 1 lap before he finished 15th.  A lot of drivers spun for some reason.

Come back next week for my take on All-Star Weekend and the Iowa Nationwide race.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Talladega Weekend

Hey readers! Here's my take on Talladega. The Trucks were off this time, again, but Camping World extended its sponsor contract.

Saturday was the Nationwide race.  Elliot Sadler won with 40 laps led, followed by rookie Chris Buescher with 1 lap led, Regan Smith with 20 laps led, David Ragan and pole-sitter Sam Hornish, Jr.  Rounding out the top-10 were Joe Nemechek, J. J. Yeley with 1 lap led,  Landon Cassill, David Starr with 5 laps led and Trevor Bayne, who had a cut tire and went 2 laps down after he had an accident. Twice, he was the free pass car and this enabled him to get his laps back and finish as high as he did with a car that looked like a demolition derby car, according to him.  If he hadn't had these issues, he said he could've been the winner or in the top-5. He gained a spot in points with this finish. Rookies Ty Dillon and Chase Elliot led 3 laps each before they finished 15th and 19th, respectively. Ryan Blaney led 2 laps before a 21st place finish.  Jeremey Clements led 1 lap before a late accident relegated him to 23rd.  Rookie Ryan Reed led 29 laps but finished 24th after he was off track due to an accident. Brian Scott was relegated to a  33rd place due an accident after 10 laps led. Brendan Gaughan was 34th due to that accident after leading 1 lap.  The top-3 in Nationwide points is tighter now and even the top-5 tightened up a bit.

Sunday was the Cup race. Denny Hamlin won with 12 laps led, followed by Greg Biffle with 58 laps led, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers with 6 laps led and A. J. Almendinger. Rounding out the top-10 were Paul Menard with 10 laps led, Kevin Harvick with 15 laps led, Kasey Kahne, rookie Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.  Landon Cassill and Kyle Busch, led 1 lap each and finished 11th and 12th, respectively.  Casey Mears led 3 laps and finished 14th.  Ryan Newman led 1 lap before he finished 18th.  Marcos Ambrose led 3 laps and finished 19th.  Danica Patrick led 6 laps before she finished 22nd. My mom, though not a big sports fan, wishes Danica would win, but thinks she won't. I guess it's because she's female, why my mom notices her, although she also says Danica doesn't seem that good.  Jimmie Johnson was 23rd after leading 2 laps.  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was 26th after leading 26 laps, then hanging back to avoid trouble. Carl Edwards led 6 laps before an accident relegated him to 30th.  Joey Logano was in an accident after leading 25 laps and finished 32nd. Reed Sorenson, David Ragan, Michael McDowell, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon all led 1 lap each and finished 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th. 39th and 40th, respectively.  Trevor Bayne was involved in Brad Keselowski's accident and finished 41st after leading 6 laps.  Both of my favorite drivers were involved in accidents, after laps led, so it was a bit exasperating.

My mom has to have breast cancer treatment next month, so I may not blog as early in the week then.  She should be okay, though.  Come back next week to see my take on Kansas.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Richmond Weekend

Hey readers. Here's my take on Richmond race weekend!  The Trucks were off again this time.

Friday was the Nationwide race, which started late due to rain. Kevin Harvick won with 202 laps led, followed by rookie Chase Elliot, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Brian Scott with 45 laps led. Rounding out the top-10 were Elliot Sadler with  1 lap led, rookie Chris Buescher, Regan Smith Ryan Blaney and James Buescher.  Some drivers short pitted and other drivers, like 11th place Trevor Bayne, who said his car was better than that, were victims of this. Some commenters on a racing site I visit said Bayne got lapped right before pit stops at one point, then Brendan Gaughan was also lapped and they thought Bayne was mis-scored maybe or unlapped himself due to fresh tires , since he got his lap back after a caution.  He pitted, so not eligible for what's called wave around and due to how he was behind Gaughan, not the free pass. Gaughan was the first lapped car and so the free pass. He should've been the first car 1 lap down after this caution and gotten the free pass on the next caution or the one after that (the race had two more cautions they said), if he didn't unlap himself.  Jeremy Clements led 2 laps before he finished 22nd.  We don't have cable TV and this race was on an ESPN channel, so I only know what the paper and Internet say. Trevor Bayne did a triathlon Easter week when NASCAR was off and won males 20-24, his division since he's 23. I think that's pretty good, particularly in his situation.  A triathlon's a swim, bike and run, the last was 5k in this case. He did his first triathlon about a year and a half ago and was second in his division after he got passed at the end then.  He says it pays dividends in the car to be in shape, which is why he works out and does these triathlons.  I know I mention T-Bayne quite a bit, but he's my favorite Nationwide driver.  By the way, I was second in the Tower Run at summer camp when I was 14, so I know a bit about running races.  There's a tower at the camp I went to from 14-17 and they had a race to it.  I also have some cousins that have run races, as they were on the track team in high school and the younger one was in the Shamrock Run near where I live a within the past few years.  She's in her early 30's and was 223 or some where close to that out of 500, I know she was upper middle.

Saturday was the Cup race. Joey Logano, who's never won multiple Cup races in one year before, got his second win of the year with 46 laps led, followed by Jeff Gordon (why is always second when Joey wins this year?) with 173 laps led, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski with 114 laps led and Matt Kenseth with 35 laps led.  Rounding out the top-10 were A. J. Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with 7 laps led, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex, Jr.  Kevin Harvick, before he finished 11th, led 23 laps.  Landon Cassill finished 26th after leading 1 lap.  Travis Kvapil finished 36th place after he led 1 lap.

See you next week after Talladega, when I post my take on it.